‘Solve virus, be­come pres­i­dent’

I am chal­leng­ing VP Leni. If she has a solution that doesn’t need a vac­cine and a cure, re­veal it. I’m sure she might just be­come Pres­i­dent im­me­di­ately if she could find one that doesn’t need a vac­cine or medicine

Daily Tribune (Philippines) - - FRONT PAGE - BY MJ BLANCAFLOR @tri­bunephl_MJB

Mala­cañang on Tues­day dared Vice Pres­i­dent Leni Ro­bredo to come up with a solution to the COVID-19 pan­demic, say­ing she might be­come the coun­try’s top leader if she has one.

In a tele­vised brief­ing, pres­i­den­tial spokesper­son Harry Roque said this as he asked Ro­bredo to open her eyes and ears to the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s ef­forts in ad­dress­ing the health cri­sis.

“I am chal­leng­ing VP Leni. If she has a solution that doesn’t need a vac­cine and a cure, re­veal it. I’m sure she might just be­come Pres­i­dent im­me­di­ately if she could find one that doesn’t need a vac­cine or medicine,” Roque said.

His re­marks came af­ter Ro­bredo said Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte should not just wait for vac­cines against COVID-19.

Ro­bredo said this in re­sponse to the Pres­i­dent’s lat­est tirades Mon­day night, where he mocked her for sug­gest­ing steps to re­spond to the on­go­ing pan­demic.

Pres­i­dent Duterte, crit­i­cized for his com­mu­ni­ca­tion style

and reliance on mil­i­tary lead­ers to ad­dress the cri­sis, said in his speech that Ro­bredo should spray pes­ti­cide through­out the coun­try if she is de­ter­mined to get rid of coro­n­avirus.

The Chief Ex­ec­u­tive also slammed Ro­bredo anew for her crit­i­cisms on the gov­ern­ment’s han­dling of the cri­sis.

“Leni has been say­ing a lot of things. You know, Leni, if you re­ally want to do away with COVID, from an air­plane, spray pes­ti­cides in the en­tire Philip­pines or Manila to kill it all,” Duterte said.

“Do not add some­thing to the pan­demic by mak­ing such reck­less state­ments that we are not do­ing enough,” he added.

Duterte said the gov­ern­ment has been ex­haust­ing its re­sources to pro­vide the med­i­cal equip­ment needed by hos­pi­tals amid the health cri­sis, but asked the pub­lic to wait for COVID-19 vac­cines.

“What do you want? There are hos­pi­tals, beds and fu­neral par­lors. They are all there. What do you want? The mi­crobes, the virus is fly­ing around. That’s why you still have to wear a mask,” Duterte said.

Ro­bredo, for her part, said that spray­ing pes­ti­cides would not sup­press the con­tin­u­ous surge of COVID-19 cases.

She also em­pha­sized that there is more to fight­ing the COVID-19 cri­sis than wear­ing masks and wait­ing for vac­cines.

“I can­not help but have take­aways. It is not enough to have hos­pi­tals, beds and fu­neral par­lors, and say­ing that all we have to do is wait for vac­cines,” Ro­bredo wrote in a Face­book post.

She said the gov­ern­ment should over­come hu­man­i­tar­ian emer­gen­cies such as poverty, hunger, un­em­ploy­ment and men­tal dis­tress caused by the pan­demic.

The vice pres­i­dent, who has been praised for run­ning COVID-19 re­cov­ery pro­grams de­spite her of­fice’s measly bud­get, has also sent a com­pre­hen­sive let­ter ad­dressed to Roque last 30 June where she pro­vided de­tailed sug­ges­tions on how to im­prove re­sponse ef­forts.

Leni has been say­ing a lot of things. You know, Leni, if you re­ally want to do away with COVID, from an air­plane, spray pes­ti­cides in the en­tire Philip­pines or Manila to kill it all.

Roque, how­ever, said Ro­bredo’s sug­ges­tions are noth­ing new since these are be­ing con­ducted by the ad­min­is­tra­tion.

“Open your eyes and ears so that we do not ap­pear re­dun­dant in say­ing all about what the gov­ern­ment has been im­ple­ment­ing,” he said.

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